Waggoner Carr was born in Fairlie, Hunt County, on 1st October, 1918. Educated at Lubbock High School and Texas Technological College. During the Second World War he served in the United States Army Air Corps.
Carr graduated from the University of Texas Law School in 1947. He established his own law office with his brother Warlick. The following year he was appointed assistant district attorney in Lubbock. He was also and from 1949 to 1951 as county attorney for Lubbock County (1949-51).
A member of the Democratic Party, Carr won a seat in the Texas House of Representatives (District 19) in 1950. He served for the next ten years and during this period focused on issues such as water, tourism, industrial development. Carr also helped establish a code of ethics for legislators and lobbyists. This included two consecutive terms as Speaker of the House.
In 1960 Carr left the Texas House of Representatives to run for the post of Attorney General, but lost to the incumbent, William Wilson. He stood again in 1962 and this time he was elected. Over the next few years he was involved in the prosecution of Billie Sol Estes and Jack Ruby.
Carr led the investigation of the assassination of John F. Kennedy and participated in the work of the Warren Commission. Carr testified that Lee Harvey Oswald was working as an undercover agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was receiving $200 a month from September 1962 until his death in November, 1963. However, the Warren Commission preferred to believe J. Edgar Hoover, who denied Carr's affirmations.
After leaving public office Carr went into private practice and eventually joined the Austin law firm of DeLeon and Boggins. However, in 1970, Carr was indicted on charges of fraud, conspiracy and filing false reports to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Acquitted of all charges in 1974, Carr wrote about the case in his book, Waggoner Carr, Not Guilty (1977).
Waggoner Carr died on 25th February, 2004.